Traffic to be banned at 11 city primary schools

The school run often leads to congestion around primaries at pick-up and drop-off times. Picture: Toby Williams
The school run often leads to congestion around primaries at pick-up and drop-off times. Picture: Toby Williams
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Traffic is set to be banned from streets surrounding 11 city primary schools in a new council-backed initiative.

The move, which aims to improve pupil safety, comes after similar trials were successful in East Lothian, and will introduce an exclusion zone around schools during the busy morning and afternoon periods.

But a report warned of potential problems, including a lack of support from the communities involved, risking motorists flouting the rules.

The first schools to pilot the scheme will include Duddingston, St John’s, Abbeyhill, Colinton, Sciennes and Cramond, with Towerbank, St Peter’s, Clermiston, Bonaly and Buckstone to follow in a second phase.

A city council spokeswoman said: “The pilot schemes will prohibit traffic on streets outside or around school entrances at specific times of day.

“Doing this creates a safer, more pleasant environment that promotes travel to school by walking and cycling.

“Further benefits for the whole community around the school, including residents and businesses, would include reduced congestion and decreased levels of air and noise pollution.”

Lesley Hinds, the council’s transport convener, added: “We were delighted with the level of interest from schools right across Edinburgh, so we wanted to make sure we extended the pilot scheme to as many school communities as we could.”

The East Lothian trial, which took place at three primary schools in Haddington earlier this year, saw police traffic wardens issuing £50 fines to those caught breaking the rules. Local residents, Blue Badge and permit holders were exempt.

Eileen Prior, executive director of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said: “Safety around schools is a major issue and many parents look to their local authority to take decisive action to help keep their children safe. We hope parents in Edinburgh will think through and make their feelings known about these proposals.”

The plans will be discussed by members of the council’s transport and environment committee next Tuesday, with a consultation at the schools affected set for the following month.

If agreed, the scheme could be implemented as early as August next year.